James Averdieck, is the founder and Managing Director of Gü Chocolate Puds, launched in May 2003.
Born in Yorkshire in 1965, James was educated at Uppingham School before studying Economics at Durham University from 1985 to 1988. After leaving university, James joined the graduate programme at strategy consultants, Arthur D. Little, where he stayed for two years, working in Europe, US and the Middle East. He enjoyed consulting and learnt about the key drivers to a successful business, but wanted to get closer to the coal-face.
James spent the next 9 years in the food industry working for both Safeway and St Ivel learning about Sales and Marketing and day to day running of businesses. With St Ivel he moved to Belgium and became a convert to Belgian gastronomy and, as he says, ‘went native on the chocolate front’. It was in Brussels that the seed was sown for his UK chocolate venture.
James realised that UK consumers were demanding more quality and moving away from mass-produced ‘branded’ products. By marrying up high quality chocolate patisserie with efficient UK supermarket distribution, James was confident he could take on the big players. He wanted to create a brand “more focused than the big brands on using high-quality raw materials to deliver uncompromisingly good products.”
Gü, the brand, is about chocolate extremism – evoking nostalgic memories and magical smells of baking with chocolate. The brand was well received by the supermarkets, launching first in Sainsburys and Waitrose with others following pace.
Gü is the fastest growing food company in UK and is credited with revolutionising the quality of desserts. It has offices in London and Paris, selling in UK, France, Ireland and Belgium. In the process, James has realised his chocolate dream of selling soufflés to the French and chocolate to the Belgians.
SPEAKING TOPICS - Brands, Entrepreneurship, Risk, Marketing